COMPETITION: AGES 5-6
- Still into make believe, fantasy, and magical thinking.
- Generally don’t regard other children as rivals.
- Easily frustrated when unable to do things as well as they would like.
- Need to feel loved and secure when competing.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS:
Play loosely structured games. Be flexible about rules. Keep the focus on fun!
- Begin to understand and play by the rules.
- Compare themselves to friends to learn what is expected, but not to determine who is better.
- Relate loss to self-esteem, especially if parents stress winning.
- Need to feel secure when competing.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS: Should encourage youth to compete in areas in which they are interested. Stress skill development rather than winning. Help children set and meet personal goals. Discourage tantrums, cheating, and unethical behavior
COMPETITION: 9-10 years old
- Children have a growing awareness of competition in the environment.
- A better understanding of ethics and rules of competition.
- Compare selves to others and formulate personal judgments.
- Need to focus on achieving small personal goals one at a time, learn how to become a team player, and cope with disappointment and defeat
- Need to be held accountable in following rules and good sportsmanship.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS
- Should encourage youth to compete in areas in which they are interested.
- Stress skill development rather than winning.
- Help children set and meet personal goals.
- Discourage tantrums, cheating, and unethical behavior
SELF ESTEEM GAMES NEEDS…
Ages 2 to 7
Certain games work especially well at meeting common needs for fun at different developmental stages. For example, our very young children live in the moment and moods can change instantly from extreme joy to demanding anger. When faced with children’s lack of coping skills we can respond in a manner to match their mood—or redirect and change their focus. With young children look for games that show a fun way of looking at life and encourage cooperation
Ages 8 to 12…
During the middle years peer pressure begins to influence children’s spirits. The best games to help establish a high self-esteem is to play games that stay in touch with their own feelings. Games that explore ways of dealing with outside influences and encourage compassion for others—are also desirable.
Ages 13 to 18
Young teenagers have a strong sense of self—even though it’s sometimes riddled with insecurity and doubt. Encourage games that are designed to increase their trust in themselves and in their own inner wisdom. Games that enhance a sense of the young teenager’s history and sense of kindness are also good.
Adapted from Spirit Games by Barbara Sher
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2002